Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane has been highly praised by Andros Townsend – who used to play alongside the England international at Spurs – on talkSPORT (26 Feb, 11:50am).
Jose Mourinho’s charges have been struggling in the absence of the 26-year-old, who tore his hamstring on New Year’s Day in a Premier League game against Southampton.
Kane is expected to be on the sidelines for most of the remainder of the season, Tottenham head coach Mourinho hoping the striker could be fit for the penultimate game of 2019-20, against Leicester (Football London).
Townsend believes that his former colleague is the best striker in the world, but admitted that he never expected him to get to where he has, given a number of relatively indifferent loan spells before breaking into the Spurs first team.
“For me, English players don’t get the recognition they deserve. He’s probably the best striker in the world but he’s not considered that for some reason. He won the Golden Boot at the World Cup but he’s still not considered the best in the world,” said Townsend, who joined Crystal Palace for £13million four years ago.
“Probably not the level he has become… From the first time I saw him, he’s always had an incredible ability to score goals. Left foot, right foot; from any position on the pitch. He’s bulked up, he’s quicker, he’s got stronger, he can head the ball – he’s pretty much an all round player now. I didn’t see it coming!”
Kane’s record speaks for itself – in 278 competitive appearances for Spurs, he has scored 181 goals and registered 30 assists (Transfermarkt), while for England, he has 32 goals from 45 appearances, and of course the 2018 Golden Boot – stats which scream out “world class”.
The fact Townsend didn’t expect Kane to reach the level he has is testament to how much work the striker has put in over the years to get to where he has, and also to the coaching setup at Tottenham, not rushing him into action or lumbering him with expectations too soon.